A Complete Guide To Creating Beautiful Visual Content (Part 1)

In the past couple of months we have shared many tips and techniques on how to apply correct colors, images, fonts or layouts in order to bring your message to life and create awesome social media visuals. As a push for relatable and inspiring visual content is only getting stronger we decided to make a little recap of top 20 tips that will help you create images that get noticed:

1. Go Easy with Text
Having a lot of text on picture can be overwhelming and the point is to let colors, image and shapes do the talking, so don’t go crazy with text. Researches have shown that you have about 8 seconds to attract the attention of your fans before they continue browsing and looking at other content. That means that the content on your social media posts should be pared down to most important information and presented in a way that is readable.

2. Set the Visual Style
Good visual should always work to enhance the message you are trying to convey. That’s why it’s important to think about the type of message you are communicating. Is it more business oriented or relaxed, formal or casual, intended for adults or children? Do you want visual with an elegant, modern, retro or serious mood? If you know the context you will know your limitations and it will be much easier for you to match selected mood with the content of your message and decide on best photo, fonts or colors.

3. Keep in Mind the Rule of Third
The rule of third is based on a natural tendency of a human eye to be more strongly drawn toward certain part of an image. The idea is to break the image down into thirds, so that you end up with 9 parts, and place the point of interest along the lines or in the intersections. According to the research people usually do not look at the center of the shot but rather at one of intersection points. So, if you position important elements at the top, bottom, left or right part of the image you will add visual interest to your entire composition.

4. Make the Best Out of Copy Space
Additional important rule of any good composition is to avoid clutter and allow all elements of your design to breathe. This is exactly why images with a lot of empty space, also called copy space, are great solutions when you need a place for your text. Just make sure you preserve the level of visual interest and not place text over some important part of an image but rather follow the natural flow and make the best out of available “empty” space. 

5. Use Textures as Your Background
If your message is long and you are afraid that a picture may distract viewers you can always go for a simple textured background that gives depth and interest to your photo but still allows your text to rule. For more inspiration on available textured images visit Lost and Taken or Wildtextures and choose between vintage film filters, old stained notebook pages and other interesting background categories. 

6. Pick a Font Palette
Another way to create eye-catching visuals is to mix up several different font styles. If you’re not comfortable with that idea stick to two fonts and make one serif and the other sans serif. This works best if you have a longer phrase that has between 5 to 15 words so that you can emphasize certain parts of your message. In our example we decided to pair elegant and approachable script font with “bold” version of sans serif font for a combination that is full of character and will add charm and friendliness to your visual content. 

7. Rule With Just One Font
If you have no option but to use just one font, don’t worry. The end result will not be dull if you do something as simple as combine regular and bold versions of the same font. This will not only create visual impact but also emphasize most important parts of the message. In this case it’s important you pay attention to the background selection. As regular font stands out differently from bold one you need to choose an image that will not interfere visually with the way you display text. 

8. Understand the Value of Hierarchy
If there is no order in the way you arrange your text viewers will not know where to look first and where to start reading. Greater size indicates greater importance, so use that logic when arranging your visual elements. As the title is the first thing people see in design you should choose largest font for this part of the message. You can go for classical, bold or ornamental fonts; just make sure that selected style is legible. Subtitle should be smaller than your title and written in a font that’s simple and easy to read (serif or sans serif). Finally, body copy should be simplest so avoid any decorative fonts and think only about functionality – is it readable or not?

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Think Big
Size matters, right? Well, we can say that it definitely does when it comes to the size of your text. The simplest way to stand out in design and set the tone of your message is to choose big font size (like 100 and up) and let it do all the talking. If you want to maximize that effect always choose a simple sans serif font that is easy to read big or small. Also, go for an image that doesn’t have too many details because you don’t want those huge words to struggle with everything that is going on in the background.

10. Look at Things From a Different Angle
Another way to achieve more effective display is to experiment with different angles at which you present your text. In our example we used playful, cursive font that emphasizes our keyword and tilted is slightly to the side. We paired it with other elements of the image, and shifted their angle as well, in order to create one balanced composition that works perfectly.

We’ll stop here for now and invite you to join us for our next blog post with 10 more great tips and tricks that will help you design beautiful visual content like a pro.